I spent the better part of a week with filmmaker Lee Lynch travelling to Oroville CA for the 6th Annual Ishi Gathering and Seminar held there on May 11th and 12th. Lee and I are working on several projects detailing the 1870 murder of local Indian hunter Hi Good, including our contributions to the Gathering: a multimedia Living History presentation (I did sound and the shadow puppet show) starring and presented for Oroville high school students at the Butte County Historical Society. Our other actors included seminar mainspring anthropologist Richard Burrill (“By socks, but the spirit of Hi Good will rise tonight, and celebrate! He was the fellow that made the sons of roosters hunt their holes, and when they finally plugged him, there was mighty few of them left to rejoice, mighty few.”) and "Nuggets" who played Ishi in a flash-forward sequence. The Monster Indian costume modeled by Lee in an earlier post was a personification of the dehumanizing mechanism at work in the young narrator of our story as he shoots a Native American burglar, and was worn by one of the student actors.
"Nuggets" spent most of the weekend in character. Here he poses catatonically on the lawn of the BCHS for several minutes with excited schoolchilden puzzled at his lack of response. Seconds later, he leapt forward with a loud cry, scattering the thrilled and frightened 4th-graders in every direction.
Unfortunately, this is one of only two shots I got of the Feather Fiesta Days Parade, as I was in costume handing out fliers for "An Evening in Ishi's World Through Film and Drama." Missed shots include the Christian preschool aerobics float, the giant Taco Bell taco proclaiming 'Thinking Outside the Bun Since 1969' and the mature and Rubenesque exotic belly dancers on an unadorned flatbed truck. But this shot captures the spirit of the event nicely. I thought I was getting hot in my Indian Fighter get-up, but I saw Mr. Team Mascot about a half hour later stripped to his jogging shorts. It was hot!
More photos to come and up now at flickr.